Good morning, All,
First, you’ll notice that we have our first sponsored ad – it’s one our SOS members! So, if you’ve been looking forever for a technical cofounder to help you build your MVP, click on the banner above, get it done, and support a fellow member and this newsletter! And thank you so much!
We are aware that we do spend a lot of time here talking about the importance of revenue models, so we shelved it for a bit. The big news in New York tech recently was that Foursquare raised a $41m round and released a new version of its iOS app as well. The round was mostly a loan to keep the company afloat. The release of the new version of the app was meant to deflect the less-than-stellar funding announcement.
Dennis Crowley is infinitely mediagenic. He’s young. He’s cool. He looks good in GAP ads. Not sure he’s a businessman. Since this still is a relatively nascent industry with an amazing trajectory, where Internet Time can be better measured in dog years, maybe it’s time ‘founder’ and ‘CEO’ became two distinctly different jobs, where one doesn’t necessarily detract from the other: the founder maintains/focuses on the vision; the CEO takes care of the business – or makes sure the company is creating a viable one. He/she would be responsible for executing, which, it seems, many companies fail or neglect to do, on the business side. Google did it when Eric Schmidt became CEO and turned the company into a business. Even Steve Jobs had to step aside (ok, so it wasn’t voluntary) from Apple for a bit. The company turned around upon his return. And he learned something in the interim. Many a founder in our industry knows tech and they know how to disrupt a vertical. But that’s just a starting point.
We often wonder if that’s why there is a sudden proliferation of accelerators around the world. As a mentor at one of them, we will tell you: there is a huge difference in the companies, from the time they enter to demo day, some twelve weeks later. They become businesses. We can’t say that that’s true of all accelerators, but there is something to be said for being mentored by people who have real world experience in your space – and who can make introductions to partners or potential investors and/or help you turn your vision into a viable business. This is not meant to be a plug for any accelerator in particular: it’s a warning shot, much as was/is Foursquare’s difficulties in raising their latest round. Still, don’t count Foursquare out just yet, and since they are the current jewel in the crown among NY startups, we are certainly rooting for them. At the same time, nor should you forget that investors want to see a pathway to profitability – yours. Getting funded is neither the endgame nor is it a free lunch. Sooner or later, the waiter does come around with the check. And there is a point where even good press and good intentions just won’t cut the mustard any longer. Onward and forward.
The list of Startup Weekend Upcoming Events
Digital Catalyst Fund Summer Boot Camp, starts in June; companies are accepted on a rolling basis. Apply here. Applications are now being accepted for Digital Catalyst Fund’s 10-week Summer Boot Camp. This one-of-its-kind accelerator is seeking entrepreneurs with early stage ideas that can impact the new media/digital marketing space. Accepted entrepreneurs will be provided with up to $20,000 cash and cash equivalent services, as well as $30,000 in technical development resources – which can be accessed by living and working with our teams in Bucharest, Romania. For the informational webinar happening this week, go here. https://angel.co/digital-catalyst-fund
NEW The Co.Labs And Target $75,000 Retail Accelerator, deadline April 30th. The winner stands to make $75,000, and gets a chance to work with one of the leading innovators in the retail space. Seven finalists will also be awarded $10,000 each to turn their proposal into a prototype. The goal: To build a mobile shopping experience that caters to customers who visit Target’s 1,778 stores. When the dust settles, the Co.Labs & Target Retail Accelerator will show the industry just what kind of magic the future of retail has in store.
Global Apps to Empower Competition Seeks Apps to Educate and Empower Women Everywhere, deadline April 30th. Applications that best satisfy the competition criteria will receive cash prizes and the opportunity to have their apps featured on Datawind’s $40 Ubislate educational tablet. That’s potentially a lot of computers – and a big win for the winning app! The UN is involved and the winning apps will be receive cash prizes, recognition (judges for the contest include Joanne Wilson, Vivek Wadhwa, Geena Davis. For more information and to apply: http://appstoempower.org/
New York Venture Summit: Apply to present/early bird registration now open. The 13th annual New York Venture Summit, presented by youngStartup Ventures, is the premier industry gathering connecting venture capitalists, corporate VCs, angel investors, technology transfer professionals, senior executives of early stage and emerging growth companies, university researchers, incubators and premier service providers. Whether you are an investor seeking access to new early stage deals, or a CEO or Founder of a new venture looking for funding, visibility and growth, New York Venture Summit is one event you won’t want to miss. To be considered for one of the Top Innovator slots, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for an application.
The Sikorsky Entrepreneurial Challenge, deadline May 1st. The Sikorsky Entrepreneurial Challenge is a competition held by Sikorsky Innovations to identify and support emerging, revolutionary technology in the rotorcraft market. The challenge provides an opportunity for entrepreneurial companies to understand some of the toughest issues facing the vertical flight community and identify their technology as relevant to one of more of these issues. See ‘I Can Help’ for more information.
Innovate Health Tech NYC, deadline May 2nd. $50,000 in cash & prizes, coaching sessions for finalists, and the opportunity to pitch your solution to health tech investors & entrepreneurs.
Startup Institute, deadline May 5th. SI works with professionals, career changers, and dynamic individuals to equip them with the skills needed to have an immediate impact on the startup company they join. The primary objective is to align passion with profession, and usher students into a life they love. This is a full-time, immersive, eight-week experience that will catapult you into your city’s technology ecosystem in the areas of web development, product & design, technical marketing, or sales & business development. Apply here and heads up: apply now: as soon as the class is full, applications close, too.
NYC SeedStart’s 3rd accelerator class, deadline May 5th. The class starts in July and will be focused exclusively on enterprise software. They’re partnering with local VCs (RRE, Starvest, Contour, Safeguard) and large enterprise partners (SAP, CA, Deutsche Telekom, Amazon). If you plan to apply, make sure to attend the info session on April 29th.
Gates Foundation offers $100k for ‘next-gen condom,’ deadline May 7th. You can’t make these things up.
LaunchHouse Accelerator Accepting Applications, Cleveland, Ohio, and all are welcome to apply. Deadline unknown. Program starts in August. For more information, see below under ‘I Can Help.’ To apply, go here. Also, just for your information, they do encourage people from anywwhere to apply – and even provide housing!
HackSummerStage, deadline May 8th. SummerStage is looking for the app which best reflects the mission outlined above and uses the SummerStage content to engage the 280,000+ attendees to SummerStage’s annual summer-long festival. Apps that creatively utilize both the SummerStage API and other provided APIs to offer a beneficial and positive experience to festival-goers, and reflect the fact that SummerStage extends to 16 parks beyond Central Park, will be judged higher.
L’ORÉAL NEXT GENERATION AWARDS, deadline May 10th. The three winners will be able to execute pilots across L’Oreal brands executed by the end of 2014. The winners will have the opportunity to meet with Venture Capital firms, L’Oréal executives, partners, and the press. L’Oréal will provide airfare and accommodations to attend the event. Winners will also be provided press opportunities with major consumer and trade publications. Winners will be recognized on the , on the L’Oréal Women in Digital website and invited on an ongoing basis to attend all L’Oréal Women in Digital meet-ups in local markets and internally to provide mentorship.
Fourth BigApps Competition, deadline June 7th. $150k in prizes, and there’s a NYC BigApps 2013 Expo and Hackathon Weekend at eBay’s New York offices the weekend of April 6th. More information about the BigApps competition is on the NYCBigApps website.
Blueprint Health Accelerator, deadline June 8th. They just had their demo day, and getting ready for the next session. The foundation of the program is a community of over 150 healthcare entrepreneurs, investors and industry executives that are committed to helping you build and grow your business. It’s the largest network of mentors with healthcare expertise of any accelerator, which can provide you with warm introductions and the strategic and tactile advice you need. Plus $20,000 in cash, over $50,000 in perks, office space at our SoHo office, and a community that is dedicated to seeing you succeed.
NEW Matchpoint | East, June 30th. This is an exclusive opportunity for selected health technology entrepreneurs and large stakeholders to meet in designated 15-20 minute meetings. Meetings are arranged based on selected criteria by industry leaders and investors, leading to high-yield discussions with innovative companies! During these meetings, innovators have the opportunity to demo their innovations with potential partners and investors. Hundreds of applications are reviewed by our team and host companies to select companies to participate in exclusive round table discussions and demos. Traditionally, over 500+ applications are reviewed to identify 10-15 innovative companies per host sponsor. Apply here.
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For you edification this week:
Stop Looking For a Co-Founder. According to David Lerner, you’re on a fool’s mission.
Three Reasons Entrepreneurs Fail BIG TIME and how to avoid failing! You need the right team, the right market and the right idea, of course. Of course, there’s more to it then that…
Catalyst VCs VC’s love to be first to be second. It does make sense, don’t worry.
How to Screen Venture Capitalists. Not all cash is the same shade of green.
Things Entrepreneurs Never Confess To Their VCs. This is intended be a light-hearted piece that hits just close enough on some counts to (hopefully) be funny. Some of them really are.
My Favorite Entrepreneur Story in a Long Time, from Mark Suster. “If you don’t like it hot, use less,” he said. “We don’t make mayonnaise here.” Sriracha sauce can be quite hot and so is the company.
Apple confirms it keeps Siri data for up to two years (update: Google too). Just yet another way to track you.
Samsung is Working on Mind-Control for Tablets. There’s a video and link, for more information.
Elevator Pitch/Member News
Hint, hint: Feel free to tell us what you’re working on, or if you’ve been featured in the press…Share, and we will, too!
That’s it from us for now, and now, as always, help is on the way…